E03: Swanand Kelkar: Writing investment theses for a $3B+ portfolio

The Story Rules Podcast

May 7 2021 • 1 hr 33 mins


"If you write something, it just clarifies your thinking. When you put pen to paper and you do it hand on your heart, and dig up data and try to make the argument robust why you're buying or selling the stock. I think it just clarifies your thinking … there're so many stocks which I did not invest in because I started writing the rationale."

Welcome to the Story Rules podcast with me, Ravishankar Iyer, where we learn from some of the best storytellers in the world, find their story and unearth the secrets of their craft.

In this episode, we speak to Swanand Kelkar, a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley in India.

At Morgan Stanley, Swanand advises investments in funds with around 3-4 Billion dollars… but what is more impressive about him is his ability to write and to tell engaging data stories about the thinking that underlies those investment decisions.

In the episode, I speak to Swanand about his techniques to consume curated information, his reflection methodology and his writing process.

We also delve into some lessons he learnt from fiction writing. That’s right - Swanand also writes fiction.

I especially found two things to be very impressive

  • His structured approach to curiosity, and
  • His ability to explain complex topics and phenomena using everyday English and relatable metaphors


Happy listening!

For more information on Story Rules, you can check out the website or you can connect with me on LinkedIn.

Show notes:
Swanand Kelkar's LinkedIn profile

His articles on Mint:
- The article on how younger Indians are much more comfortable taking on debt: https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/sAwG6XPVVktkiLtVaXhTbJ/A-generational-shift-in-consumption-and-debt.html

- The article on lessons from fiction short-story writing
https://www.livemint.com/mint-lounge/features/opinion-why-writing-is-harder-than-you-think-11598599300744.html

- You can read more of his writing (including the unique 'sabbatical series') here.: https://www.livemint.com/Search/Link/Author/Swanand-Kelkar